Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Wasting Waste or Money

Over the last few years more and more local authorities, or councils, whatever you want to call them, have moved to fortnightly rubbish collections.  This move initially prompts outrage from residents who demand weekly collections because that is what has always been.
     What they don't seem to notice is that fortnightly collections usually come with wheelie bins which are at least twice the size of the old fashioned dustbin and much cleaner and tidier than a pile of rubbish bags left out for the binmen to collect.
     The other advantage is that as well as fortnightly rubbish collections there are usually alternating fortnightly collections of recyclable rubbish and garden waste.
     Some die-hards  think it is a great imposition to have to sort one's own waste before disposing of it.  Some plead for weekly collections to be reinstated, it is everyone's right to have bins emptied every week!  We shouldn't have to pander to waste reducing targets!  We should be allowed to throw away as much as we want!
     Unfortunately there is limited space in which to put all our rubbish.  There are only so many landfill sites available and those that do exist are getting full.  And no-one wants an incinerator on their doorstep.
And why be so willing to throw so much away?  Maybe those who complain about their bins overflowing should look in them and see what they could do to cut down on waste.
     Food packaging has always been a problem but now much of it can be recycled.  Boxes of all sorts can be flattened and put in the recycling bin/bag, whatever you are provided with.  Most of the plastic containers that food comes in can now be recycled along with cans and bottles.  But it's even better if you try to buy produce that does not come in a box to start with.  Certain containers can even be washed and re-used.
     Speaking of bottles, how many households, especially those with children, have too many bottles?  Fizzy pop instead of squash, two litres of squash will go much further than two litres of coke - and be much cheaper.  British tap water is perfectly safe to drink, we don't need shelves of bottled water.  It can always be filtered if you are not sure about it's quality.  And tap water doesn't produce bottles that need to be thrown away.
     I've just put my wheelie bin out ready for tomorrow's collection and it is barely half full.  It wouldn't bother me if it was only emptied once a month.  Smelly kitchen waste, veg and fruit peelings and stuff, go in the compost bin.  Food waste is kept to a minimum as I don't buy or cook too much.  Okay, there are only two of us in this household, and the dog who produces 7 tins a week because she won't eat dried food, but having a larger family does not necessarily mean more waste.
     So to all those who want to go back to the old days of weekly collections I say fine, but can we be charged for each bin collected then I will only put mine out once a month for rubbish and once a month for recycling.  That's 24 bins a year instead of 52 (or 104 if recycling is also done every week).  Bet if we were charged per collection people would soon cut down on their waste.    

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